Communications is a full service Internet Service Provider.
NewsWatcher allows a
user to access the Internet News Groups (Usenet). The News Groups are single-subject
message boards where users write "posts" in a running conversation(s) about
the topic. NewsWatcher requires a Macintosh running System 7.0 or later with
2.5 megabytes or more of memory. The anonymous FTP site for the program and
the user document is ftp.acns.nwu.edu/pub/newswatcher/.
The helper programs used by NewsWatcher are available via anonymous FTP at
The majority of complaints
regarding Internet pornography regard Usenet boards. For those who do not
wish to explore such areas, we advise staying away from any boards containing
such words as "alt.sex" (general sexual discussion), "sex.binaries" or "binaries.erotica"
(sexually explicit graphics). Despite media sensationalism, users can NOT
unintentionally be exposed to sexually explicit graphics on ANY News Group
- the user must at least choose to open the article with newer versions of
NewsWatcher, or even download, decode, and open the graphic on a special viewer
with older versions of NewsWatcher.
For those who wish to
use the Usenet but are concerned about younger family members accessing boards
carrying pornography or other materials deemed inappropriate, several products
are available for parents to lock out certain News Groups. These include Surfwatch,
Net Nanny, Cyber Sitter, and Cyberpatrol, all of which may be purchased at
local software stores, or ordered by mail. Surfwatch is downloadable on the
Internet from www.surfwatch.com
at a cost of $19.95. Net Nanny can be downloaded from www.netnanny.com
for $19.95. Cyberpatrol can be downloaded from www.cyberpatrol.com
on either a single-copy or updatable subscription basis.
When NewsWatcher is opened
for the first time, it puts up a list of all the available (over 20,000!)
News Groups. Configuring NewsWatcher involves selecting a "first cut" of which
boards the user wants to access, since it takes a long time to bring up the
full list every time the user opens NewsWatcher. The user should also set
certain preferences the first time NewsWatcher is used. While the Preferences
are too numerous to cover in this section, the most important ones will be